One of Aaron Rodgers’ favorite targets over the past few seasons with the Green Bay Packers, wide receiver Greg Jennings is now an unrestricted free agent—adding to an already jumbled group of wideouts set to make splashes on the open market.
Jennings joins Wes Welker, Dwayne Bowe and Mike Wallace as other high-profile wide receivers who could cash in this offseason. While each is eligible to have the franchise tag placed on them for the upcoming season, Jennings prefers to not return to the Packers under that designation (via NFL.com).
With Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb (the team’s top three targets this past season) all returning in 2013—and Jennings looking to possibly ink his last lucrative, long-term contract—the Packers almost certainly are not interested in bringing back Jennings in any capacity.
Green Bay’s tendencies on offense would lend itself to the team not overspending at wide receiver.
Expending those resources upgrading the defense or other areas on the team seems to be a much more cost-effective initiative moving forward.
There will be no shortage of interest for Jennings around the league, however.
When healthy, the 29-year-old wide receiver has been one of the more productive players at his position since entering the league in 2006—catching 425 passes for 6,537 yards and 53 touchdowns during his seven years in the NFL.
While there is no question of what Jennings brings to the table, the key for him to remain productive at this stage in his career will be staying on the field. He has only started all 16 games in a season once in his career, which happened to be his most productive—tallying 76 receptions, 1,265 yards and 12 scores in 2010.
It is worthy to note that Jennings only played in eight games in 2012 due to a torn abdominal muscle—not at all how he expected his contract year to play out.
Though it may play a nominal role in how contract negotiations could unfold, expect Jennings to be a top target of many teams trying to upgrade at wide receiver this offseason.
While it will all hinge on how the Kansas City Chiefs handle their own impending decision at wide receiver, Jennings could be at the top of their list should they choose to part ways with Dwayne Bowe.
On the surface it may seem more logical to keep Bowe around in Kansas City. But with a new regime, guided by head coach Andy Reid—who brings in his version of the West Coast offense—it may not make much of a difference at all.
There could be an open line of communication between Kansas City and Jennings. New Chiefs general manager, John Dorsey, was influential in selecting the wide receiver out of Western Michigan in the second round of the 2006 NFL draft.
Jennings is a smaller, possession wide receiver who would fit perfectly in Reid’s system. Though Bowe could find success here as well, both could also thrive in a new setting—and Jennings could come at a lesser cost at this point in their careers.
While the fanbase would have no qualms should the Chiefs sign Bowe to a long-term deal, the sentiments if they let him walk would be just as accepting should the team address the wide receiver position with a viable replacement.
Jennings would fit right in with the Chiefs. Bringing along his winning pedigree certainly wouldn’t hurt the situation either.
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